Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Comedy is tragedy plus time, right?

Disclaimer: Judging by the comments on my Feb stats post, you guys are all SUPER excited for this review. And you are going to be disappointed. I'm sorry. I cannot live up to all your expectations. Not the book. The book is super fun, but this review. 

So I read Agorafabulous!. And I really liked it! It was a fast read and I couldn't put it down. And then I started a new book and apparently forgot about it completely because not only have I not written a review for it yet, but I've written reviews for books I finished after it. Which I never do. I like to write the reviews in the order I read the books, even if they end up piling up. But I forgot all about it. So I don't really know what that means. When I think of the book, I remember really liking it. But apparently I don't think of it that often.

I put Agorafabulous!: Dispatches from My Bedroom by Sara Benincasa on my Goodreads To Read list after I saw Alice's review. Then one day I had to make a trip to work up to Boston and I was almost done with the book I was reading and was afraid if I just bought it, I would be bookless. These are times I LOVE my Kindle because the night before the trip I can go "Shit I need a book for tomorrow. Oh here we go." And thus, I picked up Agorafabulous.

The book is a hilarious memoir of her struggles with Benincasa's various anxieties, primarily her agoraphobia. The stories are funny without sacrificing the seriousness of her condition. Agoraphobia is serious, even if the results are absurd. Plus she pulled me in cos she's a Jersey girl who went to school in Boston, so I can appreciate her comments like "New Jersey claims to be a state, but it is actually a gigantic slab of cement upon which malls sprout like blisters and corns on the scrubby feet of overworked, chain-smoking strippers,"* because this is not untrue.

Benincasa takes us through her trip to Sicily and her first serious panic attack, her agoraphobia in college when she couldn't even go to the bathroom and instead peed in bowls, to working as a personal assistant for an abusive spiritual guru, teaching in Texas, and eventually becoming a comedian in NYC. The settings are different but she's still dealing with her anxieties and his hilarious the whole time so it's cool.

I can't really think of what else to say but while I was looking through my highlights to write this I realized I would just like to share a bunch of quotes. Because they're GREAT.

"Thus did I end up in Sicily, the Alabama of Italy."

"Our particular trip was enlivened by the presence of a foursome of bitchtastic bottle blondes from the girls' tennis team. This cuntsquare of future real estate agents and PR associates..."

"Any average crazy person can worry one friend into action. But two? That's advanced achievement in the art of being nuts."

"I wasn't rich enough to follow my dream of living among noble brown stereotypes, which is why this book isn't called Eat, Pray, Love."

"On any given block in New York, I was bound to be, if not the sanest individual, at least not one of the craziest."

If I didn't have this on Kindle, I'd stick it on my shelf right next to The Bloggess's Let's Pretend book and I could have a "hilarious memoir by ladies with mental problems" shelf. It can sit next to my "white middle class straight guy problems" shelf. If I ever get around to organized my bookshelves, these are the types of categories I'm going with.

*I realized after I already wrote this paragraph that Alice also quoted this line in her review. Because it's that good.

Title quote from page 235/location 3278

Benincasa, Sara. Agorafabulous! Dispatches from My Bedroom. Harper Collins, 2012. Kindle edition.

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